Spivery's SWAC's best over past five seasons

Updated: May 5, 2005, 7:09 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- As coach of Alabama State, Rob Spivery helped knocked Southern out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament the last two years in a row.

That won't happen next season.

Southern named Spivery the new coach of the Jaguars on Thursday afternoon, essentially confirming what Spivery's former Alabama State players leaked a day earlier.

Spivery will replace Michael Grant, who was fired two weeks ago after interviewing for another job. Southern officials said they fired Grant not because of his losing record, but because of comments he made about recruiting to officials at his prospective new school.

Spivery's formal appointment is pending approval by the Southern University Board of Supervisors.

Spivery coached at ASU for nine seasons, compiling a 129-136 record. His head coaching career spans 20 years with an overall record of 304-281.

His career included time as an assistant for Nolan Richardson at Tulsa.

"He was the only candidate on my list," added Chancellor Edward Jackson. "We started the process ... and he immediately told me that he couldn't talk with me, that I must first speak with the president of the school, before we could have any contact. I liked that about him, he handled his business appropriately."

Southern has been a losing program for half a decade, but that didn't dampen Spivery's enthusiasm for the job.

"The chance to take a program, and try to rebuild it back to prominence is a challenge that I wanted to undertake," Spivery said.

Spivery is slated to become the fourth coach in the last six seasons for Southern.

Spivery's teams have gone 11-2 against Southern in the last five seasons.

The Hornets knocked Southern out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament in the semifinals last season, in the 2004 quarterfinals and in the 2001 semifinals.

At Alabama State, Spivery led the Hornets to the SWAC Tournament title in 2004 and won both the regular-season and tournament titles in 2001.

Last season, the Hornets went 15-15, losing in the SWAC Tournament final.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press